Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen encouraging residents to utilise registered charities to help fire-impacted communities

Electorate's generosity a 'wonderful thing'

UPPER Hunter MP Michael Johnsen is encouraging local residents to utilise registered charities if they're keen to make a donation to fire-impacted communities.

While impressed by the electorate's big-hearted nature in recent times, he believes people should turn to the likes of The Salvation Army, Red Cross, Vinnies and Lions to ensure the best possible outcome.

"Sadly, it's not a good start to 2020 with the devastating bushfires that have caused havoc and distress to all," Mr Johnsen said.

"Following a disaster, our spirit of generosity and desire to help those impacted is a wonderful thing.

"And, I thank the Upper Hunter who has kindly donated to affected communities.

"However, we need to be careful that we only give things that are actually needed.

"Locals are already doing what they do best and looking after people around them who have been hit by these horrific fires."

He added NSW Government agencies along with charity partners and local community organisations were helping to provide emergency shelter, food and water.

"The best way to assist our impacted communities is to donate money to one of the many charities or appeals that have been established," Mr Johnsen said.

"Money gives people the choice to buy things they need and support local businesses that have also been affected.

"I've been advised the charities do not want donations of physical goods such as toys, furniture and clothes at this time.

"They are usually not required, and fill up spaces while taking volunteers away from other important tasks.

"If you have unwanted physical goods please consider selling them and donating the proceeds instead."

Mr Johnsen also praised the local NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) brigades.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe," he said.

"It's been a harrowing time for the firies and, sadly, this fire season continues.

"Let us hope that this year brings good rain for the fire grounds and also to our struggling farmers."

If you're making a donation

The Salvation Army

Red Cross

Vinnies

Lions